Commentary: Why no tape of Bey-Broussard talk?
Oakland police appear incompetent in investigation of journalist’s murder.
WHY DID Oakland police put Chauncey Bailey’s accused killer Devaughndre Broussard alone in an interrogation room with Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusef Bey IV — supposedly so Bey IV would convince Broussard to admit that he shot the journalist — then not tape the conversation between the two?
When, at the time, police suspected that Bey IV had ordered the killing to prevent Bailey from writing an article exposing the bakery’s financial problems?
Police produced a tape recorder a short while later to record Broussard’s actual confession.
Didn’t it occur to anyone that in such a high-profile case, it would be wise to cover all of the bases? That investigators were leaving the door open for the defense to later claim that police had coerced Broussard?
Which is, of course, exactly what has happened.
Why did the department assign Derwin Longmire, a sergeant known to be close to the Beys, to be the lead homicide investigator on the Bailey murder investigation?
It’s been almost six months since Bailey’s murder. Why haven’t police arrested any other suspects? Including whoever was driving a white van that witnesses have said the shooter got into when he fled the scene?
No one believes that Broussard, if he was involved, acted alone. So where are the other killers? Do police officials know who they are? Do they care? Or are they simply happy to hang this murder on the shoulders of one man, and close the books on the case?
So many questions. Very few answers.There was no new information forthcoming when Broussard sat down with CNN’s Anderson Cooper Sunday on “60 Minutes.” The interview didn’t break any ground that the Chauncey Bailey Project hadn’t already covered.
What it did do, however, was put on national display what a fiasco the Bailey murder investigation has been.
Broussard’s confession, and whether it will hold up, is the biggest problem. Cooper asked Deputy Police Chief Howard Jordan the same thing everyone else has been asking. Why wasn’t it recorded? Jordan offered no reasonable excuse.
Broussard now claims he didn’t kill Bailey. That Bey IV came into the interrogation room and told him that he needed to take the fall for the shooting because it was a test from God.
Broussard could very well be lying. People who kill other people often confess under pressure, then later recant.
The issue, however, is the department’s incompetent handling of the interrogation. Police have a tape-recorded conversation between Bey IV and Sgt. Longmire discussing their friendship, yet no record of what was said between Bey IV and Broussard?
Cooper asked Jordan why police allowed Longmire to investigate the case when the department could have easily assigned someone else — to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
Jordan’s answer? It was “unusual, but not unethical” to have the lead murder investigator investigate a man he is friendly with. That strikes us as, well, absurd.
One gets the impression that some Oakland police officials and their subordinates are incredibly incompetent at best — or, at worst, covering for a family reponsible for sowing decades of terror in this city.
Enough questions. Time for some answers.